The US did not reject Russia’s offer of cooperation in developing a coronavirus vaccine, according to a Moscow health official, who says help wasn’t even proffered, despite claims from CNN.
On Thursday, the American broadcaster claimed Russia had offered the US “unprecedented cooperation” to Operation Warp Speed, the US multi-agency body dedicated to creating Covid-19 vaccines and treatments. Citing an unnamed “senior Russian official,” the news network said the Americans had refused help from Moscow due to a “general sense of mistrust.”
Alexey Kuznetsov, an assistant to Russia’s Health Minister, rebuffed CNN’s assertion, explaining that his ministry did not send an “official proposal” to the US.
According to the American network, US officials believe the Russian vaccine to be so incomplete that any assistance didn’t generate any interest at all, with one official saying, “There’s no way in hell the US will try [the Russian vaccine] on monkeys, let alone people.”
On August 11, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the country had registered the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine, named Sputnik V. Developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, the vaccine will be available to the general public from January 2021. The process of creating the vaccine has been criticized by some Western countries, who claim that the speedy production means it hasn’t yet been proved safe.
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